Mohammad Aamer will like windy and seaming Ireland conditions © AFP (File Photo)
Mohammad Aamer will like windy and seaming Ireland conditions © AFP (File Photo)

After a thumping win at The Oval and an emphatic series leveling act, Pakistan now embrace the 50 over format of the game, where they will feast their eye on Ireland before taking on England. Pakistan will have a completely new side to carter to with Azhar Ali being their man in charge. A lot of new faces will be seen playing and a new breed of superstars will grace the field for Pakistan, with Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Nawaz and Sharjeel Khan mixing with more established players in Sarfraz Ahmed, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Hafeez. On the other hand, Ireland will be led by William Porterfield, under whose command will be Kevin O’Brien, Nial O’Brien, Ed Joyce, Paul Stirling and Tim Murtagh to rally around. Ireland have been playing the limited over format all throughout the summer, and with the conditions suiting their liking, they would definitely have an edge over the young and a green pack of wolfs touring their shores. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Pakistan vs Ireland, 1st ODI at Dublin

Lets have a look at some of the key battles which might add spice to already intriguing duel between both the sides:

Mohammad Aamer vs Ed Joyce: Pakistan firebrand cricketer Mohammad Aamer, who made a successful return to the British Isles in white clothing, will now look to get back to his wicket taking habit in the limited overs. Aamer who was expected to out bowl out the English batsmen, looked anything but lethal. Joyce, on the other hand, jumped from England to Ireland to make a mark in international cricket and has been easily their best batsmen. Joyce was the top scorer for Ireland in the final One-Day International (ODI) against Afghanistan and finished the series amassing 339 runs in 4 matches. He will be the key to Ireland’s success against Pakistan. Aamer’s record against left handed batsmen is good and Joyce will want to wary of it.

Yasir Shah vs Kevin O’Brien: Pakistan’s star in the series against England, Yasir is yet to show his prowess in the limited overs. Yasir has an ODI bowling average of 36.44, which does not do absolute justice to his name. In O’Brien, Ireland have all-rounder who is master of judging decisive  situations and can change the course of the game in minutes. Both Yasir and Kevin will battle it out in the most crucial moments of the game and the winner among these two champions will result the outcome of the match. ALSO READ:  Pakistan vs Ireland 1st ODI: Preview & Predictions

Azhar Ali vs Barry McCarthy: Azhar Ali, who was successful in the four-Test series versus England, will be high on confidence and looking to pile on more runs as a skipper. Captaining Pakistan is no easy feat and Azhar will be detrimental in the success of his teams’ rise. Azhar is solid and crafty with the willow but it will be interesting to see how he holds up as captain. McCarthy who is just 6 ODI’s old was among the wickets in their series against Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. McCarthy picked up 10 wickets versus Afghanistan in four matches. Even though his economy is on the higher side, McCarthy is quick and get the ball to do all the talking.

This will surely be a contest to watch out where the young guns will fight it out to outnumber one another.

Sarfraz Ahmed vs Peter Chase: Sarfraz  has been often flaunted as Pakistan’s most gifted batsmen in recent past and his records surely reflect that but he needs to step up with big scores more often than not. Sarfraz, whose footwork is sound and compact, will want to make his arrival on international fore once and for all. On the flipside, Chase, who is just starting his career, will want to make an thwack on the Pakistani batting line-up right from ball one.

Chase who can extract pace and bounce, will want to make the best of the opportunity in the series along with rubbing shoulders with the likes of Wahab Riaz and Aamer and showcase his mettle.

(Vishal Mehra is a reporter at CricketCountry, who enjoys his weekly dose of anime, and plays cricket once a white moon. His twitter handle is @capturethecatch )